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Heartbroken bird lovers help preserve peregrine killed by plane

PUBLISHED: 13:21 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:21 11 October 2020

The peregrine, TD, was killed earlier this year after being struck by a plane and has been mounted and will be put on display at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Kim Paul

The peregrine, TD, was killed earlier this year after being struck by a plane and has been mounted and will be put on display at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Kim Paul

Kim Paul

The legacy of a Norwich peregrine falcon killed by a plane will live on after being preserved to watch over the cathedral for educational purposes.

The peregrine, TD, was killed earlier this year after being struck by a plane and has been mounted and will be put on display at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Kim PaulThe peregrine, TD, was killed earlier this year after being struck by a plane and has been mounted and will be put on display at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Kim Paul

The female, known as TD, was one of four chicks born to the peregrine pair at Norwich Cathedral in April.

She was 76 days old when she died after being hit by a plane at Norwich Airport in July.

Airport staff were able to recognise the bird of prey due to the ring around her foot and contacted Chris Skipper, from the peregrine project, to inform him of the bird’s death.

Fortunately, TD was in a condition that would allow her to be mounted.

The peregrine was only 76 days old when she was struck by a plane. Picture: Chris SkipperThe peregrine was only 76 days old when she was struck by a plane. Picture: Chris Skipper

Bird lovers were left heartbroken by the loss of TD and donated £900 for the work of a taxidermist.

The mount will be placed in a glass case on the Hawk and Owl Trust’s watch point at the cathedral, with the aim to be installed there from next spring.

Mr Skipper said TD was a character and put on a good display for visitors when flying around the cathedral.

He said: “It will be her legacy to Norwich and the cathedral. Nature needs all the help it can get.

The peregrine was only 76 days old when she was struck by a plane. Picture: Chris SkipperThe peregrine was only 76 days old when she was struck by a plane. Picture: Chris Skipper

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“If one child sees TD and inspires them to do something to help wildlife that will be enough.

“She looks like she is alive. It looks like she is looking at you.”

Shortly after the chicks were hatched Mr Skipper was able to ring them, which allowed TD to be spotted at the airport the night before her death.

The peregrine was only 76 days old when she was struck by a plane. Picture: Chris SkipperThe peregrine was only 76 days old when she was struck by a plane. Picture: Chris Skipper

Mr Skipper said: “If she wasn’t ringed, we wouldn’t have known what happened to her.

“We have lost peregrines before, it’s part of nature, and we have never been able to go down this route.

“People were heartbroken.”

Around 50pc of peregrine falcons survive their first year.

The peregrine, TD, was killed earlier this year after being struck by a plane and has been mounted and will be put on display at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Kim PaulThe peregrine, TD, was killed earlier this year after being struck by a plane and has been mounted and will be put on display at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Kim Paul

In January, one of the Cromer peregrine chicks was killed on power lines near Holt.

Peregrines have been roosting in a box on the cathedral spire since 2011.

Mr Skipper said: “With coronavirus there has been so much interest in the peregrines, a lot of people would spend time watching them on the web cams.”

The Norwich Cathedral peregrine project is currently at a quite period ahead of January and February, when the two adult peregrines will begin preparing for breeding season.


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